A comforting resource for military families coping with deployment and a worthwhile addition to any library.

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MY MOMMY IS A HERO

With its companion, one of two delightful books that celebrate parents who are in the military.

Tolson showcases military mommies from different branches of the armed services (Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy) and of every color. The book starts off with three different mommies saying goodbye to their families. The first-person rhyming text reiterates that “my mommy is a hero” for many reasons. She is “courageous, strong, inspired.” She is “leading others every day.” She “helps people in need.” The second line in each stanza often echoes emotions military children might feel when their mommies are deployed. The line “I know she’s always with me, even when she’s far away” is illustrated by a small vignette of a child writing a letter to Mommy. On another page, another mom is helping her daughter with her homework as the text reads “I love her and look up to her, she’s always guiding me.” Complementing the characters’ racial diversity are their wide-ranging jobs. A pilot sits in the cockpit while an aircraft marshall directs traffic on the runway. A medic treats a child in a rural village. Companion title My Daddy Is a Hero is similar in vein but with different scenarios. Nonetheless, the concepts are parallel, and both books highlight the leadership and bravery of both women and men in uniform.

A comforting resource for military families coping with deployment and a worthwhile addition to any library. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: June 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-61067-721-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kane Miller

Review Posted Online: April 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

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BECAUSE I HAD A TEACHER

A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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A treat to be savored—and a lesson learned—any time of year.

LOVE MONSTER AND THE LAST CHOCOLATE

From the Love Monster series

The surprised recipient of a box of chocolates agonizes over whether to eat the whole box himself or share with his friends.

Love Monster is a chocoholic, so when he discovers the box on his doorstep, his mouth waters just thinking about what might be inside; his favorite’s a double chocolate strawberry swirl. The brief thought that he should share these treats with his friends is easily rationalized away. Maybe there won’t be enough for everyone, perhaps someone will eat his favorite, or, even worse, leave him with his least favorite: the coffee one! Bright’s pacing and tone are on target throughout, her words conveying to readers exactly what the monster is thinking and feeling: “So he went into his house. And so did the box of chocolates…without a whisper of a word to anyone.” This is followed by a “queasy-squeezy” feeling akin to guilt and then by a full-tilt run to his friends, chocolates in hand, and a breathless, stream-of-consciousness confession, only to be brought up short by what’s actually in the box. And the moral is just right: “You see, sometimes it’s when you stop to think of others…that you start to find out just how much they think of you.” Monster’s wide eyes and toothy mouth convey his emotions wonderfully, and the simple backgrounds keep the focus on his struggle.

A treat to be savored—and a lesson learned—any time of year. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-00-754030-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 21, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2015

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